My Poem Set To Music

Jonathan Sheffer debuts "A Red Couch Floating in Lake Erie" symphony
to honor city

Cleveland, OH (March 12, 2007)—Orchestras are defined in some measure
by the musical personalities of their conductors, and Red is no
exception. Red {an orchestra}'s final performance for the 2006-2007
season, entitled That Red Guy, will include music composed and
arranged by Artistic Director Jonathan Sheffer.

"That Red Guy" begins with Sheffer's arrangement of Bach's Well-
Tempered Clavier in the minimalist style. The piece is followed by
Romp, Sheffer's showy concerto for saxophone and orchestra and
features Swedish saxophone soloist Anders Paulsson. "That Red Guy"
rounds out the performance with the debut of Sheffer's latest
symphony celebrating Cleveland titled A Red Couch Floating in Lake

A Red Couch Floating In Lake Erie beautifully fuses a symphony of
singers with poetry developed in conjunction with members of Poets'
and Writers' League of Greater Cleveland (PWLGC). What would
Cleveland sound like if she were set to music? Sheffer answers by
encompassing Cleveland's unpredictable weather, its beloved sports
teams, the city's rich culture, her musical roots, and the town's
future within his 45-minute libretto.

Blues For Cleveland, poetry by John Carroll University English
professor George Bilgere, is one of many poems included in A Red
Couch Floating Over Lake Erie. Bilgere is a member of PWLGC; author
of Haywire; recipient of numerous awards and host of Wordplay, a
poetry radio show on WJCU (88.7 FM). Other Cleveland poets whose
works will be featured in Sheffer's symphony include John Stickney
and Megan Senthil.

Sheffer beautifully incorporated five vocal soloists into A Red Couch
Floating in Lake Erie. Appropriately, Cleveland resident Andrea
Chenoweth will perform the soprano part in the movement dedicated to
weather titled The Lake Effect. Nicole Larimer, mezzo-soprano from
southern California; Carl Halvorsen, tenor from Portland, Oregon;
Andrew Garland, baritone from New York City; and James Martin, bass-
baritone from Mississippi each have featured solos throughout the

"That Red Guy" features music composed and arranged by Sheffer.
Concerts take place Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 15
at 3 p.m. Both performances take place at the Masonic Auditorium
located at 3615 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. Tickets are
priced from $15-$65 and are available online at www.redanorchestra. org

Red {an orchestra} performances are made possible thanks to the
generous support of:
The Ohio Arts Council, Berlin Family Education Foundation, The
Cleveland Foundation, George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation,
George Gund Foundation, H. van Ameringen Foundation, The Human Fund,
Kulas Foundation, Edward A. and Catherine L. Lozick Foundation, The
Lubrizol Foundation, John P. Murphy Foundation, Ohio Arts Council,
William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neil Foundation, The Thomas H. White
Foundation, the Wolf Foundation, Forest City Enterprises, Park Ohio
and Key Bank.

About Jonathan Sheffer Artistic Director & Conductor of Red {an
Conductor Jonathan Sheffer has, for the last ten years, turned his
attention to the question of what constitutes a concert
of "classical" music in the contemporary world. He founded the Eos
Orchestra in New York in 1995 as a laboratory of new programming
ideas. In 2001, he was invited by a group of musicians and arts
donors from Cleveland to lead a new organization with a similar
mission. The result: Red {an orchestra}. With the closing of Eos in
2004, Red is now the main outlet for these kinds of innovations. Mr.
Sheffer began studying conducting after working for nearly a decade
as a composer and conductor of Hollywood film scores. He made his
conducting debut with the San Diego Symphony in 1991. In the
early '90s he lead the Seattle Symphony in concerts that combined
unusual new works and performers with the standard repertoire, which
began the kinds of programming experiments that resulted a few years
later in Eos, and eventually, in Red. In addition to Eos and Red, he
has conducted opera, dance, and at various festivals, including the
New York City Opera, The Spoleto Festival (IT), and the Ravinia
Festival, and the New World Symphony in Miami. In the dance world,
Mr. Sheffer has conducted the American Ballet Theatre at the
Metropolitan Opera, as well as the Mark Morris Dance Company at BAM.
In addition he led the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with the Martha
Graham Dance Company at the Edinburgh Festival. Visit
www.jonathansheffer .com

About Red {an orchestra}:
We are classical musicians, artists, and thinkers united in our
commitment to our audiences: to REDefine classical music programming,
to REDesign the concert experience and REDiscover classical music.
Red was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 2001 by a volunteer group of
arts patrons and musicians. Red educates, entertains, and inspires
its audiences by presenting a unique, multi-sensory, and memorable
music experience. Red is setting new standards for imaginative
musical programming by presenting music in collaboration with other
artistic disciplines such as film, visual arts, opera, theater,
poetry, and literature. Core to our mission is an intense focus on
cultural renewal and revitalization. Red strives to expand our
audiences' experiences by melding innovative style with the
traditional orchestral experience. Lead by Artistic Director and
Conductor, Jonathan Sheffer, Red {an orchestra} has completed four
successful seasons and is pleased to present a fifth season that is
guaranteed to delight and amaze. Visit www.redanorchestra. com

Red {an orchestra} presents
"That Red Guy"
Saturday, April 14 8:00 PM
Sunday, April 15 3:00 PM
Masonic Auditorium
3615 Euclid Avenue

Andrea Chenoweth, soprano
Nicole Larmer, mezzo-soprano
Carl Halvorson, tenor
Andrew Garland, baritone
James Martin, baritone
Anders Paulssen, soprano saxophone
Jonathan Sheffer, conductor

BACH (arr. Sheffer) 6 Preludes from "The Well-Tempered Calvier"
SHEFFER Romp (Concerto for Soprano Saxophone)
SHEFFER A Red Couch Floating In Lake Erie (A Symphony of Songs)

Tickets: 216.361.1733 or online at www.redanorchestra. org


Anonymous said…
Could you comment post your poem so that I may read it?
Lisbet said…
Good post.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous of 10:10 PM. Just checking, ten years later...

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